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The Government seeks to optimize the management of European funds with the ‘SEPI Digital’

Date: May 20, 2024 Time: 08:41:09

The Government plans the creation of the Spanish Society for Technological Transformation (SETT) to “gain operationality” in the management of the high volume of financing dedicated to this sector in Spain, including European funds. With this new public company, which aims to mobilize some 20,000 million in investments, the Executive will control the entry of public capital into Telefónica.

This initiative seeks to achieve greater “unity of action” to manage project financing. Sources close to the new entity explain that the SETT will control some of the activities to which funds from the Perte Chip (endowed with 12,000 million euros), the NextTech fund (4,000 million euros) or the Audiovisual Hub (1,700 million) will be dedicated. of euros).

Thus, the new public company, now known by many as ‘SEPI digital’, will unite the management of these funds in a single institution. With this simplification, it is expected to “optimize the effectiveness” of the financing of digital projects and “speed up” the allocation of investments.

Entry into Telefónica

In this context, it is expected that one of the main issues that the new public entity will manage will be the entry of the State into Telefónica after in mid-December the Government ordered the State Society of Industrial Participations (SEPI) to acquire up to 10 % of the share capital of the operator chaired by José María-Álvarez Pallete in response to the surprise landing in the company of the Saudi ‘teleco’ STC.

“It would make sense, but we will have to see it over time,” Escrivá said last Monday when asked about the fit that SETT would have to manage the state participation in Telefónica. In this context, the sources consulted indicate that one of the possible scenarios is that SEPI decides to delay the start of the purchase of Telefónica shares and waits for the constitution of the SETT – something that is expected to take place in the summer – to who is directly responsible for executing the operation.

Another option is that SEPI starts the process and that around the summer, when the new public company is already in operation, it transfers to the SETT the participation that it has acquired so far and that the new public company completes the acquisition of the share package of the 10%.

The third possibility is that SEPI completes the operation at its own pace and that, once completed, 10% of Telefónica is transferred to SETT. However, the option of the holding company chaired by Belén Gualda being the one to keep the State participation in Telefónica is also open.

Beyond these possible scenarios, it is worth remembering that SEPI is finalizing the stock brokerage contract to proceed with the Government’s entry into Telefónica, a process in which both national and foreign financial entities are being surveyed. This contract is “about to be awarded”, according to market sources told Europa Press, who also pointed out that, despite the fact that foreign banks appear on the shortlist, it would be Spanish financial entities such as BBVA and Caixabank that would be best positioned each year. time to finally execute the stock brokerage of the operation.

Added to this is that SEPI has already awarded the advisory contract to carry out the Government’s takeover of Telefónica, although the name of the financial entity that will carry it out has not yet been revealed. In this sense, SEPI has refused to comment on this procedure due to its confidentiality.

Emergency processing in the Council of Ministers

As indicated last Monday by the Minister for Digital Transformation and the Public Service, José Luis Escrivá, the Executive’s idea is to urgently process the creation of the SETT in the next Council of Ministers, that is, on March 5, although it is estimated that the approval of the royal decree that will establish the creation of the new entity will take place in “two or three months.”

The Digital Transformation portfolio also noted that the SETT will have a team specialized in “investment operations” to capitalize and consolidate “truly transformative projects in the technological field, and, in particular, in ‘venture capital'” aimed at promoting investment in startups or scaleups. In that sense, Escrivá himself recalled last week during an event – precisely when asked about SEPI’s entry into Telefónica – that he worked for 10 years in a bank in the area of ​​corporate investment.

A profile of the investment field

In this context, the sources close to the process consulted by Europa Press have pointed out that the profile sought to direct the SETT is that of a person with “accredited experience in the field of investment”, who “would not necessarily have to proceed of a financial institution.”

The meaning of a profile of this type to direct the SETT should be sought mainly in the large volume of financing that is expected to be mobilized with the new public company and also in its investment nature, so one that is more technical or specialized in the sector . The technological one loses strength. However, the same sources warn that there is still nothing decided about who will ultimately lead this new public company, so all options are open.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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